.In February 2011 Christchurch, New Zealand’s second-most populous city, was struck by an earthquake that killed nearly 185 people. How does a community can recover from such a shattering event?  What do the citizens need to know and what questions do they have?

Such disasters leave marks that can’t be deleted but can be exploited to debate. Public Communication of Science and Technology network (PCST) and the Science Communicators Association of New Zealand (SCANZ) will co-host a symposium Disasters. Communicating in the crisis and aftermath in Christchurch on February 21-22 2013, exactly two years after the earthquake.

The debate will be centered in disasters and science communication because disasters pose a particular challenge for communication: the needs are urgent, the audiences wide-ranging, and the demand for coordination is paramount.

This joint SCANZ -PCST event will appeal to academics, journalists, science communicators, policy makers, city planners and local and regional authorities interested in the communication of science-related issues in before, during and after times of crisis

Some of the topics will include risk communication in relation to the threat of disasters, the changes in public understanding and expectations of science and communication and the perception that we are faced with more natural disasters, extreme weather, earthquake swarms, pandemics, agricultural crisis.

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